Renton’s Gold Star family eats breakfast at the White House


In July 2010, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove of Renton was killed in the line of duty from injuries sustained during a shooting in Afghanistan’s Logar province. He was 25 years old.

In the wake of this tragedy, Jarod’s wife and children found comfort and companionship in Wear Blue: Run to Remember.

For the past six years, Kimberly Newlove and her two sons, Addison, 15, and Jordon, 12, have participated in Wear Blue’s Gold Star program for people who have lost a military family member in the ‘exercise of his duty.

Wear Blue’s Gold Star Youth program connects children of fallen soldiers with a mentor who is on active duty. Mentors and guardians train for several weeks for races and memorial runs to honor and remember their deceased loved ones. The program culminates with the big Memorial Day race.

This year, the Newlove family had the opportunity through Wear Blue to visit the White House on Memorial Day. They arrived for a special Memorial Day breakfast where they were soon joined by President Joe Biden.

President Biden walked into the room where the Newloves and other guests were waiting to meet him with apologies on his lips. He and his staff were running late and he had come to personally thank them for their patience.

When it was time for the Newloves to meet the president, they were ushered into a separate room where they were met by President Biden and a photographer.

“It was surreal,” Kimberly Newlove said. “I never thought this could happen.”

“We went in there and I shook his hand, and we were just talking for a few seconds,” said 15-year-old Addison Newlove. “He said I shouldn’t be in a real relationship until I’m 30,” she said with a laugh, which is apparently what she tells her own grandchildren.

After breakfast, the Newloves visited Arlington National Cemetery for a Memorial Day ceremony attended by President Biden, First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

“I probably never would have met him under any normal circumstances, and the fact that we met him because we’re a gold star family is special,” Newlove said.

Kimberly Newlove’s mother, Mary Humphries, was on the phone with her daughter during the event, heard the announcement over loudspeakers and was able to hear as the president entered the room.

“It just sends chills down the spine,” said Humphries, who predicted the experience was “something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”

learn more

Wear Blue: Run to Remember has chapters spread across the United States in Washington, California, Montana, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Tennessee and several other states. There are also chapters outside the US territories in Germany and Japan.

“The cornerstone to achieving Wear Blue’s mission is the Saturday Run, a free weekly run or walk organized by Wear Blue volunteers,” according to the Wear Blue website. “Our weekly walks through our neighborhoods highlight our mission, our commitment to each other and our dedication to honoring the fallen. We become the living memorial. It’s a place of connection, support and healthy living for athletes of all abilities”.

Training takes place every Saturday at different locations in the region.

More information about Wear Blue: Run to Remember can be found at wearblueruntoremember.org.

Kimberly, Jordon and Addison Newlove in Washington, DC on Memorial Day 2022. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Newlove.

Kimberly, Jordon and Addison Newlove in Washington, DC on Memorial Day 2022. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Newlove.

Kimberly, Jordon and Addison Newlove in Washington, DC on Memorial Day 2022. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Newlove.

Addison and Jordon Newlove in front of the White House on Memorial Day 2022. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Newlove.

Addison and Jordon Newlove in front of the White House on Memorial Day 2022. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Newlove.



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Jennifer Ahdout

Jennifer Ahdout

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